While Javerre will be taking on older and considerably more experienced horses in the $60,000 New Jersey Breeders Handicap, the 3-year-old gelding certainly seems up to the task in the six-furlong sprint.
Trained by Cathal Lynch for Stanton Smith, Jr., the son of Outflanker out of the Touch Gold mare Our Fantene has only raced four times. But he won all three of his Monmouth Park starts, which were against New Jersey-breds, in impressive fashion during the meet and finished a strong third in open company at Saratoga on August 3.
So far, so good. Now Javerre is back at Monmouth trying to notch his first stakes win on Saturday, when 10 races restricted to state-breds will be presented as part of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival. The $75,000 Charles Hesse III Handicap and the $60,000 Jersey Girl Handicap are the other two stakes races on the card.
“This horse is just a natural athlete,” said Lynch, who won the $100,000 Sorority Stakes with Doubled here on Labor Day weekend. “He was very effective (in his Saratoga race). It was a trial to see if we wanted to keep him in training over the winter as an open horse, or if he was strictly state-bred. He ran really well and was really competitive, and Saratoga can be a tough place to go.”
The 6-year-old Arctic Air and 7-year-old Hop Skip and Away, who finished second and third, respectively, in the 2011 edition of this race are back for another crack at the trophy.
NEW JERSEY-BRED JUVENILES HAVE THE CHANCE TO SHINE
They are the pride of New Jersey’s Thoroughbred breeding program and the promise of the future. On Saturday, the best of the state-bred juveniles will be showcased in the New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival at Monmouth.
In the third of the 10 restricted races on the card, 12 colts and geldings will travel five furlongs in a $37,500 maiden special weight and then another full field of fillies is set to run at the same conditions in the sixth race.
“The girls are in,” said trainer Michael Mullin, who will saddle Shesfromboston and Billyscrystalball in the filly affair as each makes her second start. “Both ran well last time but what was most impressive was not so much where they finished, but how they both overcame adversity and showed composure as well as maturity in all respects. We’re really excited about this race.”
So is John Mazza, who has trained for owner/breeder Vincent Annarella’s Holly Crest Farm for 46 years. Mazza sends out the uncoupled duo of Holly Crest’s Forgotten Prayers and Ro-Ron Stable’s Holy Rainbow in the filly race and Silver Bullet City in the test for the boys.
“They are all homebreds,” said Mazza, who was honored with the prestigious Virgil “Buddy” Raines Distinguished Achievement Award this year. “Every year I have babies to raise and you always look for the good ones.”
Mazza has trained a who’s who of stakes winners, including three-time New Jersey-bred Horse of the Year Star Edition and fellow year-end champions Capture the Gold and Duke Mitchell.
“There are so many that I could sit here all day and go through them,” Mazza said. “I won the 1992 Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga with Great Navigator and the 1988 Sorority with Divine Answer. Carrots Only was another real good one. He won the Jersey Breeders’ Cup and the Charles Hesse Handicap. I’d have to go home and look at all the pictures, but I think I won at least 37 stakes. Forty-six years is something to be proud of.”
So are 37 stakes winners. “You have to breed the best you can to the best you can,” he said. “But then you still have to get lucky.”
NEW JOURNEYMAN RIDER BOOKING BUSINESS
Juan Eugenio Enriquez may be only 18 years old, but the newest addition to Monmouth’s jockey colony is an experienced journeyman with skills very much in demand.
Despite arriving less than a week ago from Peru to begin his career in the United States, business for Enriquez is brisk. The rider, who recorded 164 victories including nine stakes races in his native country, has the chance to add seven more in the win column when he makes his American debut on Saturday’s card and rides another six on Sunday.
Agent Bruce Golub said that the trainers here have responded positively to Enriquez, who was the fourth leading rider at the Hippodromo de Monterrico, and are giving him the chance to ride their horses.